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Penguins fight off Jets, win in shootout | TribLIVE.com
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Penguins fight off Jets, win in shootout

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 6, 2014 11:21 p.m
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Penguins defenseman Simon Despres (left) fights Jets forward Evander Kane during the second period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Penguins' Robert Bortuzzo (41) clears Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Ladd from in front of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the first period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Jets forward Blake Wheeler (26) fights Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (41) during the first period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Jets' Evander Kane (9) gets the crowd going as he makes his way to the penalty box after his fight with the Penguins' Simon Despres during the second period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Jets' Adam Lowry (17) hits the Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) during the second period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Penguins' Christian Ehrhoff (10), Teddy Purcell (16), Steve Downie (23), Steve Downie (23) and Robert Bortuzzo (41) celebrate Purcell's goal against the Jets during the second period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Jets' Jacob Trouba (8) celebrates his goal against the Penguins with Evander Kane (9) and other teammates during the second period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Penguins forward Brandon Sutter (16) celebrates his second-period goal against the Jets on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save during the third period against the Jets on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with Zach Sill (38), Brandon Sutter (16), Paul Martin (7), Robert Bortuzzo (41) and Rob Scuderi (4) after scoring against the Jets on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) scores in the shootout against Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) celebrates with Nick Spaling (13), Chris Kunitz (14) and Patric Hornqvist (72) after beating the Jets on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save on a shot from the Jets' Mathieu Perreault (85) as Rob Scuderi (4) defends during overtime Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Penguins' Zach Sill (38) interferes with Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) as Jacob Trouba watches during the third period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The Jets' Evander Kane (9) scores against Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) as Kris Letang (58) defends during the third period Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — With one in the Eastern Conference and one in the West, the Penguins and Jets will meet only once more this season.

Which is an absolute shame for fans who enjoy entertaining hockey games.

Thursday’s 4-3 shootout win for the Penguins at MTS Centre featured a little bit of everything: a blown two-goal lead, plenty of fights and 102 penalty minutes, a couple of gorgeous saves from newly extended goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and a three-point night from Brandon Sutter.

“That was a fun game,” Sutter said. “That was two good teams going at it.”

Literally, in some instances.

Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres and Craig Adams drew fighting majors. Zach Sill got tangled up with Jacob Trouba after running into Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and easily could have been given one.

Steve Downie was involved in several altercations and finished with a game-high 22 penalty minutes, including a pair of 10-minute misconducts.

In between trips to and from the penalty box, Trouba and Evander Kane scored to tie it 3-3.

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby struck in the shootout for the Penguins — their first of the season — and Fleury got revenge on Kane, stopping him to finalize the team’s sixth consecutive win.

“I was glad he was coming out for the shootout so I could see him again,” Fleury said. “I just tried to be patient, and when he came close enough, I got my stick on it.”

The Penguins (9-2-1), whose penalty-killing unit went 4 for 4 to extend their perfect streak to 34, have won five straight over the Jets (7-6-1) and eight of the past 10.

Malkin’s season-opening point streak came to a close at 11. It is the fourth-longest such streak of his career.

The Penguins finished without a goal on five power-play chances, marking only the third game this season where they didn’t score with the man-advantage.

“From an entertainment point of view, it had physical play,” Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. “It had scoring chances. It had special teams. The penalty kill on both sides was very good. I thought the game had a little bit of everything.”

While the power play came up empty, the Penguins did provide plenty of punch with their fists, starting with Bortuzzo decking Blake Wheeler early in the first and then obliging him for a fight.

Despres, who stuck up for Fleury in his scrap, pulled the Penguins out of a 1-0 deficit when he scored his first of the season with a hard shot from the point.

Sutter, who last got three points in a game Feb. 11, 2010, scored his second goal in as many games to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead by snapping a shot past Pavelec from the inner-edge of the right circle.

Downie made it 3-1 when he jumped out of the penalty box and flipped a backhander past Pavelec. That prompted yet another scrum when Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien rode Downie hard into the boards.

“It was an emotional game, a lot of tension for teams that don’t see each other that much,” Crosby said. “The crowd was loud and into it. Being on the road and getting a character win like that, that’s a big win.”

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jmackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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